How Many States Of Matter Are There?

How Many States Of Matter Are There?
How Many States Of Matter Are There?


Do you know how many states of matter are there? Today, we dive headlong into the fascinating realm of matter states, which are far more complex than we often give them credit for. Join me as we unwrap a dynamic YouTube video entitled “How Many States Of Matter Are There?” that navigates through this intricate universe, challenging what we think we know.

Exploring the Known States of Matter

We all learned in school about the basic states of matter: solids, liquids, and gases. Yet, our universe doesn’t just settle for the basics. When we heat gases to knock electrons free from atoms, we create plasma, the fourth state. In fact, YouTube’s PBS Space Time video dives into this subject with the infectious curiosity that science invites, taking us on a journey beyond what textbooks have to offer.

Interestingly, the states of matter are determined by their chemical bonds. The strong bonds in solids keep the material rigid, but heating can break these bonds to create weaker ones, forming liquids. Further heating breaks these weaker bonds, setting particles free to form gases.

The Intriguing Possibilities of Quantum Physics

It turns out that the real party begins when quantum mechanics gets involved. For example, with enough heat, a plasma can further break down to form a quark-gluon plasma. Despite the high energy involved, this state behaves more like a liquid due to significant interactions between gluons and quarks. Astoundingly, this foreign state of matter is routinely created in particle accelerators and may exist in the cores of massive neutron stars.

Here are a few more mind-bending states that occur under quantum conditions:

  • Degenerate matter: All quantum states are occupied, leading to properties like superconductivity and superfluidity.
  • Time crystals: These oscillate between states even with no energy, with their lowest energy state involving real motion.

Beyond the Microscopic: Larger States of Matter

However, it’s not just the microscopic world that showcases these states. Larger ‘particles’, from sand grains to human beings, can mimic states of matter based on their interactions.

For instance, flowing air can cause sand grains to behave like a liquid, and high-density human crowds can exhibit behaviors like those of liquids. Even galaxies, viewed as fluids of stars by astrophysicists, interact not electromagnetically, but gravitationally.

States of Matter: A Powerful Tool

Max Tegmark from MIT presents one of the most captivating proposals, suggesting that we can understand consciousness itself as a state of matter. He posits that we could use the tools of material sciences to understand the mind, which he sees as an emergent property of a certain type of information system.

The states of matter concept may seem slippery, especially when venturing into foreign areas. Yet, it remains an incredibly useful tool in understanding physical systems’ behavior, from the Big Bang to human consciousness.

What Can We Learn from This?

I would strongly recommend this enlightening YouTube video to anyone interested in a deep dive into the fascinating world of matter states. It pushes the boundaries of our understanding and challenges us to think outside the box, while also:

  • Offering a fresh perspective on quantum physics and how it impacts the world around us.
  • Encouraging curiosity and stimulating the pursuit of knowledge, even in seemingly familiar territories.
  • Illustrating the importance of staying updated on scientific advancements.

So, why limit ourselves to the conventional wisdom of solids, liquids, and gases when there’s an entire cosmos of matter states waiting to be explored?


How Many States Of Matter Are There? – PBS Space Time Max Tegmark’s Consciousness as a State of Matter

How Many States Of Matter Are There?

Remember, the universe is under no obligation to make sense to us. Yet, the joy of understanding makes the journey worthwhile. Stay curious, stay inquisitive, and keep exploring!

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